Meet Our Dedicated Advocates

Kristin Wouk (Board Chair) is a former High School teacher and current North Carolina attorney, earned both her BA in English and her Juris Doctor from UNC Chapel Hill. Together with her family, she provides care for her three elderly grandparents who all live in the area. As someone who is personally invested, Kristin is excited to be involved in advocating for the aged and disabled as a member of the Board of FORLTC. In her spare time, Kristin raises dairy goats, gardens, and volunteers at the NC Museum of Natural Sciences.

Sheila Lewis (Vice-Chair) is a former Regional Ombudsman with the North Carolina Long Term Care Ombudsman Program advocating for the rights of residents in Long Term Care Facilities in Eastern North Carolina. She currently works with American Senior Benefits as a Licensed Insurance Agent.She is a Mediator and has Completed the North Carolina Dispute Resolution Commission approved Superior Court Mediation Training. She also Volunteer Mediates in the Wake County District 6 Court System through the Carolina Dispute Settlement Services. She holds a Bachelor in Science Degree in Rehabilitation from East Carolina University.

Brian Liebman (Secretary) was born and raised in northern New Jersey and New York. He attended Fordham University until 2007, when he moved to North Carolina. Brian graduated from North Carolina State University in 2012, with degrees in political science and history, Brian Graduated from the UNC School of Law at Chapel Hill as a member of the class of 2016. Outside of the law and politics, he loves sports, carpentry, and exploring his new home, North Carolina.

Pam Palmer (Treasurer) grew up and went to school in Raleigh. After living in the Midwest for about 18 years, Pam moved back to North Carolina to be her mother’s caregiver and advocate, which she was until her mother passed away. She has been appointed to the Wake County Nursing Home Community Advisory Committee, the Governor’s Advisory Council on Aging and also serves on the North Carolina Partnership to Address Adult Abuse. She earned her BSBA with a concentration in Accounting and a Paralegal Certificate from Meredith College. Pam also has earned a certificate in End of Life Care and Gerontology. On Saturdays, you will usually find her at the Wake County SPCA — where she is a Lead Volunteer.

Teresa Gardner is an adult home specialist with Johnston County Department of Social Services where she has worked for the past 18 years. She is representing the Adult Foster Care Association on the Friends Board and is also a board member of that association. She has a Bachelors Degree in Social Work from East Carolina and a Masters of Education in Community Counseling from Campbell. She thoroughly loves working with facilities to ensure the best care and services possible are given to residents.

Stephen Marson recently retired from The University of North Carolina at Pembroke where he taught in both the Sociology and Social Work Departments. He was appointed by Governors Easley and Purdue to NC's State Social Services Commission. He has a particular interest in applied gerontology and serves on the North Carolina Partnership to Address Adult Abuse. Steve has also served as a technical adviser to the UNC Jordon Institute for Families and was elected to the board of the NC Chapter of The National Association of Social Workers.

Janet O’Keeffe has over 25 years of experience as a researcher and policy analyst on a wide range of aging, disability, long-term care and health policy issues. From 2000 to 2015, she was a senior researcher and policy analyst in Research Triangle Institute’s Aging, Disability, and Long-Term Care Program. She retired in March 2015 and since then continues to work part-time on selected projects as an independent consultant. She has also worked as an RN in home care and understands the health and long-term care needs of persons with both physical and mental disabilities and chronic disabling health conditions.

Carolyn Pennington is an ombudsman for long-term care. She learned her Social Work Certificate (CSWE) from Meredith College, and she also has certificates in Geriatric Care Management, Gerontology, and End of Life Care. After living in the Washington, DC metropolitan area for 25 years, Carolyn moved back to Raleigh to oversee the care of her parents. Following this role, she has tackled a variety of volunteer advocacy work on behalf of vulnerable and older adults. For example, she served on the Wake County Elder Abuse Task Force and on the Wake County Nursing Home Community Advisory Committee for over three years.

Wendy Sause is currently director of patient programs for Community Care of North Carolina. She worked as the State Long Term Care Ombudsman in the late 90s after working as a Regional Ombudsman for Triangle J Area Agency on Aging. She also has experience as the director/administrator of Clairbridge of Cary, a 50 bed assisted living facility designed specifically to serve residents with Alzheimer's Disease or other dementias. She now lives in Asheville North Carolina and is excited for the opportunity to improve conditions for consumers of long term care consumers and families.

Lyndah Tello is currently responsible for community contact and client consultations for Smart Moves Financial. Her focus is advocating for children/adults with disabilities. Lyndah was a school teacher for 10 years and then managed a home health care agency for 3 years where she established home care for families with special needs children and disabled adults. Lyndah has spent most of her adult life advocating for disabled persons.

Margaret Toman is a long time caregiver and advocate for her 100 year-old mother, who has advanced Alzheimer’s Disease. In 2010, Margaret and her mother played a key role in persuading the legislature to restore funding to North Carolina's adult daycare program provided by the Home and Community Care Block Grant. Margaret continues to take her mother out publicly and is passionate about changing public attitudes toward the elderly. She is a 2012 graduate of UNC’s Senior Leadership Enhancement Initiative, Raleigh Neighborhood College, an AARP Legislative Advocate, Caregiver Representative on the GOLD Coalition, and a contributing writer to several caregiving and Alzheimer’s related publications. She writes, speaks, and advocates on behalf of the elderly and the imprisoned and strongly supports the role of adult daycare services in long term care. Now retired and working part time as a docent, Margaret spent the majority of her working years in the non-profit sector and was included in a News and Observer feature on “Working Women in Raleigh.” Margaret lives in Garner with her fat cat, Velcro (also an activist!).

Bill Lamb (Executive Director) retired from public service in November of 2012. He had worked UNC Institution Aging as the Associate Director for Public Service from July of 2000 until his retirement. He came to the Institute after a 30-year career working in the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. He has been involved with Friends since the early 90s and has served twice as board chair. He is returning to Friends after serving as president of the National Consumer Voice for Quality Long Term Care.

If you are interested in serving on our board, please email us at or call 919-782-1530.

6300 Creedmoor Rd Suite 170 #326 Raleigh, NC 27612 919-782-1530
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